As a consequence of the accelerating technological development and the impact of cultural globalisation, the transnational aspects of the process of adaptation have become increasingly crucial in recent years. To go back to the very beginnings of the twentieth century and research the historical connections between popular literature, theatre, and film can shed greater light on the origins of these phenomena. By focusing on two case studies from turn-of-the-century crime fiction, this paper examines the extent to which practices of serialisation, translation, and adaptation of literary works contributed to the formation of a transnational market for popular culture. Ernest W. Hornung’s A. J. Raffles and Maurice Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin were the heroes of two crime series that were immediately translated, imitated, and adapted into countless theatrical plays and films all over the world. Given the resemblance between the two characters, the two franchises frequently ended by overlapping. Their ability to move from a medium to another as well as from a country to another was the result of the logic of ‘recycling, remaking, retelling’ (Brian Naremore) that guides not only the process of adaptation but also the creation of any work of popular culture.
- Transnational popular culture
- Film Adaptations
- Crime Series